"I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me, " Apple CEO Tim Cook has said in a letter written for Bloomberg Businessweek, while publicly coming out as gay and declaring his support for equality.
Tim Cook, though the CEO of perhaps the most prominent company in the World today, has managed to keep a low profile on his personal life. In the letter he says that his decision to publicly acknowledge his sexuality was intended to "bring comfort to anyone who feels alone" and to "inspire people to insist on their equality."
Referring to the Black civil righst leader Martin Luther King, Tim Cook said: "at the same time, I believe deeply in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, who said: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’?” I often challenge myself with that question, and I’ve come to realize that my desire for personal privacy has been holding me back from doing something more important. That’s what has led me to today."
He also added: "I’ll admit that this wasn’t an easy choice. Privacy remains important to me, and I’d like to hold on to a small amount of it. I’ve made Apple my life’s work, and I will continue to spend virtually all of my waking time focused on being the best CEO I can be. That’s what our employees deserve—and our customers, developers, shareholders, and supplier partners deserve it, too. Part of social progress is understanding that a person is not defined only by one’s sexuality, race, or gender. I’m an engineer, an uncle, a nature lover, a fitness nut, a son of the South, a sports fanatic, and many other things. I hope that people will respect my desire to focus on the things I’m best suited for and the work that brings me joy."
Tim Cook, a very humble man with impressive record in the support of human rights, has increasingly expressed his thoughts about the respect of human rights and supported actions geared towards the advancement of equality over the last years. He did it during a key note speech at his alma mater Auburn University and has established Apple's support for the Employment Nondiscrimination Act in an op-ed written for The Wall Street Journal.
Earlier this year, Tim Cook and Apple employees marched in support of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community during the 44th annual Pride parade. Apple also issued a statement in support of Supreme Court gay marriage rulings in 2013.
Perhaps as a very strong statement of support of human and civil rights, Apple has a section about diversity on its website, which highlights the efforts of the company towards improving employee diversity and the commitment to promote equality and human rights.
The fact that Tim Coook, the CEO of Apple and a proven supporter of human and civil rights and diversity, has come out is a strong message and an example for many.
This was apparent when Tim Cook said, "I come from humble roots, and I don’t seek to draw attention to myself. I don’t consider myself an activist, but I realize how much I’ve benefited from the sacrifice of others. So if hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy."